Bhaskar Sarkar

Associate Professor of Film & Media Studies

Curriculum Vitae

1999 Ph.D. in Film Criticism and Theory
University of Southern California


2312 Social Sciences & Media Studies



Post-Colonial Media Theory, Cultural Theory,
Risk and Speculative Media Asian Cinemas


Bhaskar Sarkar’s primary research interests include risk and speculative media; post-colonial media theory; political economy of global media; and history and memory. Broadly speaking, his work addresses questions of modernity and community, imagination and participation, paying close attention to the institutions, circuits, and practices constituting global media assemblages.

Sarkar is the author of Mourning the Nation: Indian Cinema in the Wake of Partition (Duke University Press, 2009), a critical exploration of the cinematic traces of a particular historical trauma. He is coeditor of Documentary Testimonies: Global Archives of Suffering (Routledge, 2009), and a special issue of BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies on “Indian Documentary Studies.” He has published essays on philosophies of visuality, transnational media, cineplasticity, and Indian and Chinese popular cinemas in journals such as Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Rethinking History: Theory and Practice, Cultural Dynamics, Framework, and New Review of Film and Television Studies. At present, he is completing a monograph titled Cosmoplastics: Bollywood’s Global Gesture, and a co-edited collection of essays, Asian Video Cultures: In the Penumbra of the Global (Duke University Press, forthcoming). He has also begun work on a monograph on the potentiations of piratical practices; a second monograph on queer underground club cultures in millennial Los Angeles, and a coedited volume of essays on the mediality of risk.

Sarkar has also co-edited a special issue of The Journal of Postcolonial Studies on “The Subaltern and the Popular,” anthologizing the proceedings from a 2004 conference. That conference provided the impetus for a multi-year research project involving scholars from multiple UC campuses and other research institutions. More recently, he has been involved in another collaborative research project, “Speculative Globalities,” which explores uncertainty as both a productive and a critical logic informing globalization. In connection with this project, he has been a fellow in residency at Cornell University’s Society for the Humanities, and at the University of California Humanities Research Institute, Irvine.

An affiliate faculty of Comparative Literature, East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies, and History of Art and Architecture, Sarkar also serves on the advisory board of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies.

Recent Courses:

Graduate Seminars:
Pirate Humanities
Postcolonial Media Theory
Life Itself

Undergraduate Courses:
Contemporary Cultural Theory
Indian Cinema: Theory, History, Hagiography
Chinese Cinema(s)
Media and Globalization

Mourning the Nation:
Indian Cinema in the Wake of Partition

Bhaskar Sarkar
Duke University Press
May 2009

Documentary Testimonies
Global Archives of Suffering

Edited by Bhaskar Sarkar and Janet Walker